This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. –Matthew 15:8
One of the most prolific New Testament scholars in the world, NT Wright, once wrote, “the longer you look at Jesus, the more you will want to serve Him in His world.” Unfortunately, many people never get a glance of the real Jesus.
People have made up a Jesus that suits them not the one that is so powerfully revealed in the Scriptures. Just like we are apt to create all sorts of things in our world to meet our needs and make our lives easier, so we mess around with Jesus.
If we were all completely honest with ourselves, I think we’d find that a Jesus who plays to our convenience, self-indulgence, and the world that revolves around “ME” is the kind of God each of us really desires. Too many create a Jesus that puts few demands upon us. We see a Jesus who promises to open up His eternal bag of goodies for us at the expression of our latest whim. However, the reality is that the closer you look at the gospels, the more you realize that kind of Jesus doesn’t exist.
I challenge you to know and follow the real Jesus. Because He loves us and wants the best for us, He calls us to follow His own example of living a life that involves sacrifice, self-denial, humility, a servant’s heart, and a passion for that which moves the heart of God. Jesus’ challenge to us is the same as the one He gave His listeners 2,000 years ago… all He really wants is our heart! Once He has our heart, He’ll have our obedience, desires, and our true sense of worship.
1. How have you held back your full devotion to God? Are there areas of your life that stay uncommitted to Jesus? What are they? Give them to God today.
2. What would be one way you could serve the Lord today that would demonstrate your desire to follow Jesus more faithfully?
Romans 12:1-2; Luke 14:25-35; Matthew 5:13-16; Matthew 7:17-20